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21 Opposition Parties Led by Chandrababu Naidu Move Supreme Court on VVPATs, Hearing Tomorrow

In a meeting with the Election Commission in February, Opposition parties had raised doubts about the credibility of electronic voting machines, though the EC has repeatedly denied allegations that the machines can be tampered with.

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Updated:March 14, 2019, 8:30 PM IST
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21 Opposition Parties Led by Chandrababu Naidu Move Supreme Court on VVPATs, Hearing Tomorrow
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday will hear a petition moved by 21 Opposition parties, asking it to pass a directive that electronic voting machines be made tamper-proof. The court will hear the petitions on Friday. The parties want mandatory verification of 50% votes by paper trail before announcement of results in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu had declared in an opposition meet in February that the parties will move SC against use of EVMs. Naidu is the lead petitioner in this case.

Apart from Naidu’s TDP, the parties that have approached the apex court include the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party led by Sharad Pawar, Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Derek O’Brien for the Trinamool Congress, Farooq Abdullah for the National Conference, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal, Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). The decision to approach SC was taken in the meeting at Sharad Pawar’s residence.

In a meeting with the Election Commission in February, Opposition parties had raised doubts about the credibility of electronic voting machines, though the EC has repeatedly denied allegations that the machines can be tampered with.

Dismissing the apprehensions, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had said that the country would not revert to using ballot papers for elections.

Announcing the Lok Sabha election schedule on Sunday, the EC had said that mandatory checking of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) will be done for one polling station in each Lok Sabha constituency.

The selection of the VVPAT checking with the EVM records will done on the basis of randomly selected polling booth. The VVPAT will be used at all polling stations along with the EVMs in the Lok Sabha polls.

The EC had said that 17.4 lakh VVPAT machines will be used in the conduct of the Lok Sabha and simultaneous assembly elections. The parliamentary polls will be held in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. The votes will be counted on May 23.
| Edited by: Debdeep Mukherjee
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